10/16/16

Foggy Fall

Council Bluffs, Iowa

Curtains Edge

Yokohama, Japan

Twelve and a Half Years Later

Kanagawa, Japan

10/8/16

Osaka Museum of Housing and Living


While I did not don a Yukata, I recommend it. The only thing missing from this experience was the smell of smoke in the air.

This museum is the size of a large television set and provided a very accurate representation of what a street in Osaka would have looked like near the middle to end of the Edo period (1750-1800).

Because it is inside, in the course of an hour you get an entire days worth of lighting. The two pictures above were taken at late dusk and early dawn respectively.

Osaka, Japan

Softbank Robotics: Pepper

Standing at 4-feet high Pepper is quite childlike. This model was greeting customers at the entrance to a Softbank shop along a very busy shopping arcade in Osaka. A few of fingers on her left hand were broken. Their strings left snapped and hanging; likely by an overly enthusiastic child.

The touch screen made it simple to choose topics of conversation. While not perfect with conversation, Pepper remembered faces and some past conversation topics. At this point its not the hardware, its the cloud that needs to catch up.

I imagine that is why Pepper's are placed in Softbank shops across Japan, to learn. To improve Softbanks machine learning algorithm. You are looking at the future of the service industry. A hive mind. Plug and play. No training necessary.

As John Conner said to the T-800 in Terminator II: "No, no, no, no. You gotta listen to the way people talk."

Turns out the robots aren't coming for us. They're just coming for our jobs.

Osaka, Japan

10/7/16

Hiyakuban: 百番


It was 10 o'clock at night as I stepped out of a 116 year old whore house turned nabe restaurant into western Japans largest brothel district. Throngs of salarymen perused the expansive selection offered by Tobita Shinchi. 

Tobita Shinchi, Osaka